Should I let my son buy headphones?

My sons birthday came and I bought him a cellphone and have him $50. We went shopping for a little while and pointed out some brand new gaming headphones that were $50. I said no because they were too much for a  headset and that I was teaching him a life lesson. He is an avid gamer so it disappointed him. What should I do? 

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kelseymh7 years ago
Hard question. You gave him the $50 as a gift, right? Did you tell him that you had veto power over how he spent it, or was it free money? If it's clear that you had to approve purchases, then you're right on, otherwise, there's a bit of mixed message.

Is your son old enough to work (mowing lawns, deliveries, part time stocking)? If so, another good life lesson could be to let him earn the money for the headphones (and give him the freedom to buy them). He may discover that he wishes he had the money later for something else.
Excellent answer, especially the second paragraph.

As an addition, $50 is not too much to pay for a real set of gaming headphones.  They should be balanced to give the game sounds more definition and be built a little more robust so they last longer.
Agreeing with the all the above. If you give him money, it's sorta rude to slap restrictions on it later, and he has to be allowed to make a few mistakes and deal with (and learn from) the consequences thereof.

But it isn't clear at all that $50 headphones would be a mistake. That's really not bad for a "serious toy" -- it's cheap compared to what stereo systems used to cost, and it's about what a decent-but-not-great set of music headphones would cost. You may need to recalibrate your "too much" line.

I'm not going to express an opinion on whether the _phone_ was a mistake. That's a definite two-edged sword.

I, too, agree with 'all the above'. I had my first headphones that cost me $2.50 to use with a Crystal Radio Set that I built and listened to on the roof of our back porch, when I was eight years old...way-back in your ancient 1941. It opened-up a whole new world to me, even though my parents owned a large Crosley AM/FM Radio in the 'front room'. It was my world of Adventure and excitingly great in those days. Nowadays, fifty or a hundred dollars given to a kid means nothing to them. It was Big Money then...and still is today to 'this kid'. :-) When kids today get everything they want it is valueless...thet have no comprehension of 'the value of a dollar'. Would I stop to pick up a lost /found penney on the sidewalk? You betcha...ONLY ninety-nine more and ya 'gotta buck'. :-) Good luck in training your kid in values which most seem to not have in this modern age. Respect is what it's about...for EVERYTHING in life. Take care. ~ ED
Yep, if no ground rules concerning the use of the money were set beforehand, then he should be allowed to spend it as he chooses, within reason. Obviously, there's nothing wrong with advising and trying to provide direction, but unless it is an outright ripoff, somehow dangerous or a violation of previously established rules then the boy should be able to do with it as he chooses.

As an alternative, with my kids, when they were wanting a big ticket item, if they sought my approval first, I would make them save or earn at least half of the amount and then I would match their savings.